CORRECTED: Majority in Stuttgart oppose massive rail project: poll

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The majority of Stuttgart's inhabitants are against a massive rail development project that involves demolishing the southwest German city's main railway station, a poll published Wednesday said.

Some 67 percent of people from Stuttgart said they opposed the project, which is causing mass demonstrations nearly every day, while 30 percent said they were in favour, according to the Forsa poll published by Stern magazine.

In the whole of the Baden-Wurttemberg region where Stuttgart is the capital, 51 percent said they were against the plan and 26 percent in favour, when the survey was carried out between August 16 - 27 as work got underway.

The project, one of the most important of its kind in Europe, will cost some seven billion euros (8.9 billion dollars) over a nine-year period.

The main railway station will be demolished as major reconstruction takes place underground, including 16 tunnels, 18 bridges and 60 kilometres of new track.

Thousands of protesters have gathered regularly in front of the station to call for the work to stop and they argue that the project is too destructive, too expensive and will take too long.

The railway station controversy is likely to be a hot issue during the regional election campaign in Baden-Wurttemberg in March. Some 30 percent of people said the project would be an important factor when they cast their vote.

According to the poll on voters' intentions, the Social Democratic party and the Green party each have 24 percent of support, while the Christian Democrats and their liberal allies have 37 percent and six percent respectively.

© 2010 AFP

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